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User and Contributor Manual

Mindat.org Membership

Searching the mindat.org database does not require registration; however, if you wish to add localities, upload photographs, take part in the messageboard, or be alerted to any changes or updates to mindat.org, you will need to register. Membership is and will always remain free of charge.

How to Register

The registration form can be accessed in the top right of any mindat.org page.

The registration form will require your name, e-mail address, a password, country, primary interest, and a brief "About You." You will also have the option of whether to be listed in the members' directory. Any of this information can be edited at a later time.

How to Log In

Once you are a registered member, you can Log In through the link in the top right of any mindat.org page. Log In information is simply the e-mail address and password you provided when creating your account.

Forgotten Password

If you have forgotten your password, you can request a password reset. You will then need to enter the e-mail address you are registered with and select reset password. An e-mail will be sent to that e-mail address with instructions on how to reset your password – if you do not see an e-mail, please check your e-mail spam folder.

If you are having trouble receiving a password reset e-mail, please contact a mindat.org manager to assist you in reseting your password.

Update Your Details

If you need to update any of the details you provided during registration, including changing your password, you can access this form (when logged-in to your account) from the top right of any mindat.org page under Update my Details.

Mindat.org Contributors

Access Rights

In order to maintain the integrity and validity of the mindat.org database, four levels of user access exist.

Level Zero (or none)
When a user account is not registered or is registered without being activated, the user has no access rights beyond simply visiting the website.

Level One (Standard User)
A standard user, which is one that is registered and activated, is allowed to upload photos, create new localities, add information to new localities – however, these changes do not take effect immediately, but must be reviewed and approved by a member of the management group (level three). The majority of mindat.org users are at this level.

Level Two (Expert User)
Users who have consistently shown themselves knowledgeable, reliable, and familiar to the complexities of the mindat.org editing system may be invited to become a level two member. These users can make edits to photos, localities, and locality information directly, without waiting for approval from a member of the management group (level three) – however, their changes can still be reviewed and reversed by any member of the management group. There are a small number of level two members, all of whom meet the following criteria:

1. Have been a member of mindat.org in good standing for at least one year.
2. Have contributed significantly to the database with the minimum amount of rejected/edited submissions.
3. Have had level two membership proposed and approved by at least two members of the management group (level three).

There is no formal application process to becoming a level two member – continued excellence in participation and contribution may merit an invitation from the management group, while pestering for upgraded membership is certain to bar access.

Level Three (Management Group)
The management group is made up of 25-35 members who oversee the operation, growth, and future of mindat.org. They have the ability to edit all data, to approve/upgrade membership details, and to make changes to the database that are not available to other members (such as merging localities). Addition to this level is extremely rare, and is made by invitation only.

Your Responsibilities as a mindat.org Contributor

Mindat.org exists as the most comprehensive database of its kind because of the contributions of data made by its members – however, the quality of a database is only as good as the quality of its data. Thus, we expect our members to hold to the highest standards when contributing data. Before contributing any data to mindat.org, please be sure to understand your responsibilities as a contributor.


You must ensure any data you contribute is as accurate as possible. For photographs, ensure the locality information is entered as accurately as possible – for example, do not submit a specimen from “Mapimi, Mexico” if you know that the specimen is certainly from the “Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Mexico.” If you are uncertain about the accuracy of data, whether it be locality specifics or even the accuracy of mineral identification, you MUST state your concerns when adding the data.


Any data you provide must be referenced – for example, you cannot add minerals to a location without a reference. References must be added in the proper format.


Any data you add to the database must be your own copyright – this applies to both images and text. If you have commissioned a photographer to take a photograph of your specimen, this does not guarantee you have the right to upload that photo – it is your responsibility to confirm with the photographer.

For more information about the copyright of mindat.org and what you can and can't do with our data, please view our copyright information page.

Ownership of Data

Data contributed to mindat.org remains your copyright within the following constraints:

1. You grant mindat.org permanent irrevocable rights to use and redistribute for non-commercial means all data that you have submitted. (In short, this means you cannot demand we remove something that you have previously uploaded. You can of course ask us nicely and where possible we will oblige - for example for things uploaded by mistake or replaced by a better quality image.)

2. You have the right to use any material you have submitted to mindat.org for any other purpose you see fit, providing such use does not conflict with our usage above (In short, if you upload a photo, and sell all rights to that photo to someone else, the sale of those rights does not void your previous agreement with us for usage of the image, so the new owners cannot demand that we remove it.)

3. Your content may be edited by editors and/or other members to extend, enhance, correct or replace content you have provided. You do not automatically have rights to reuse subsequently edited versions of content that you have provided for any other use.

4. You are not allowed to use any copyrighted material retrieved in any form from the mindat.org website for any commercial purpose, or for use in any other database or website project without the express permission of mindat.org or the copyright owners of the material in question.

5. The Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, DBA mindat.org retains database and compilation copyright over the collection as a whole.

As mindat.org is subject to International Copyright Law, copyright is granted by default in anything that you create. You do not have to specifically put a copyright message next to your content – further, we discourage this, as it is misleading for those editing or extending that text. However, it is advised to add copyright information to uploaded photographs to remind people that they are not necessarily free for use (or abuse).

When uploading photographs to mindat.org, you can expect your photos to be used in the following ways:

  • In your personal gallery
  • In the gallery for mineral pages and, if good enough, as the head photo on the mineral page
  • In the gallery for locality pages
  • If exceptionally good, as photo of the day
  • In conjunction with search results (e.g. in a search for all photos of fluorite from England)

Within these uses, mindat.org restricts the withdrawal of content permissions from contributors. Any other data use within the mindat.org database (such as within an article) can be rejected and overruled by the photographer at any time for any reason.

You may also grant mindat.org rights to use your images to help us raise money. This means that we can use your photos on promotional products such as t-shirts, calendars, etc, or in books that we sell. Credits for photos used will always be given.

Mindat.org Restrictions of Use

The copyright of the mindat.org database is complicated. Mindat.org itself is restricted in using the data within the database for any commercial purposes without prior clearance with contributors. This means that mindat.org cannot use the database to put data into books, onto CDs, use images to sell t-shirts, etc., without the permission from the contributors of information and/or photographs for each purpose. In situations for which mindat.org wishes to use an image commercially, we ensure that we have written permission for each image.

For more information regarding copyrights in mindat.org, see Copyright Information.

Can I download the data for personal use?

We are always happy to work together and discuss arrangements with anyone interested in using mindat.org data for personal use. Please contact us!

Is the database backed up?

Yes - we have several servers and multiple backups. Every night the databases are synchronized between the systems, and alerts are generated if this procedure fails.

What happens if mindat.org disappears?

Mindat.org is the main outreach program for the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy (a not-for-profit research, cultural and educational entity that is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York in 2003 and is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization). This will provide a vehicle for the continuation of the mindat.org project if some members of the project are no longer able to continue. The board of Hudson is committed to continuing this project and seeing that mindat.org is freely available on the internet.

Mineral and/or Locality  
Mindat.org is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Public Relations by Blytheweigh.
Copyright © mindat.org and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2019, except where stated. Mindat.org relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
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